Yokota member helps wash away families’ deployment stressors

  • Published
  • By Amn Jarrett Smith
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Deployments have always presented challenges for military families. While one spouse is away, the basic tasks involved in taking care of a home and taking care of children need to be accomplished, all with one fewer person in the household to do them. The daily tasks necessary to take care of a home and a family, sometimes seemingly small tasks, can quickly feel overwhelming for families going through a deployment.  

However, some small tasks can go a long way. Danielle Gomez, a stay-at-home mom and active duty spouse at Yokota Air Base, decided to help her neighbors by offering free house cleaning services to families with a deployed spouse. Stationed at Yokota AB since 2018, Gomez has firsthand experience on the strain deployments have on families.

“When my husband was deployed, I didn’t have the energy to do tasks,” said Gomez. “I feel like if I have the means and time and energy, then I just pay it forward to someone. My main intention in starting this is to help someone in a position that I’m familiar with.”

Not having a spouse physically near to support you and having to balance out tasks can become overwhelming very quickly. Family members of deployed spouses might overestimate how manageable a deployment will be or may feel uncomfortable asking for help.

“For me, it was important to have an avenue for spouses, both men and women, to have someone to have their back just on a personal level,” said Gomez. “When your spouse is gone, who do you lean on? Who do you feel comfortable asking to help do the dirty work around the house?”

Gomez knew she wanted to help, so she reached out to the local community via social media. She offered all spouses affected by deployments a free house cleaning. The response was well received with some community members offering services of their own to households with deployed spouses. Gomez supplies all the equipment necessary to complete each home. From sweeping the floors to deep cleaning the surfaces and even wiping down the bathrooms, she knocks out each tasking asked of her with ease, leaving the house looking sharp and fresh, in the hopes of easing some of the family’s worries and stressors.

Gomez says she feels a sense of accomplishment with each clean home she departs, recognizing she’s helping her friends and neighbors get through a challenging time in their lives. Each daily chore she can complete for others is a chance to give back to Yokota families and helps to build a strong and supportive community.